26 February 2008

This is a good place

I am often surprised and delighted by the generosity of people. As we worked away at the Centre yesterday, a woman, who I interviewed recently to work as a volunteer, came in to help us pack. She is an older lady and she worked harder than all of us. Another woman brought in packing boxes for us to use. Almost everything has been packed for our move now, we just have to pack up what is in the room the Flexischool uses, defrost the freezer and fridge, take all the notice boards and blinds down and clean up. Many hands really do make light work.

Built in the 1930s, the cottage was formerly the home of the town's first librarian. She lived there with her family for many years and died last year in her 90s.

I had a cleaner come in to deep clean the empty cottage for us. After lunch Bernadette and I went over to check how she was going, found she'd done a wonderful job and that the technicians were working on moving our alarm system over. The electrician will be back today to finish off his work and then all is set for our move tomorrow. There is one hitch - it's raining and there is a forecast of more rain tomorrow. No matter, we're all really excited about moving, soon all memories of the hard work will fade and we'll happily settle into our new space.

There is a very old avocado tree over the driveway that we'll have to cut back. A new drive way and car park will go in next week.

I have been working voluntarily at the Neighbourhood Centre since August 2006, have been the co-ordinator since about mid-way through last year and I'm still surprised at the number of people who drop by with a TV they don't need, an old computer, a piano, or whatever. Just last week I received a cheque for $1000 from a couple in another State who have been reading about us in the local newspaper that is posted to them. For some reason, that Centre attracts generous and optimistic people who see the good in what we're doing and want to give of themselves or something material. It's wonderful to be a part of that.

Hydrangeas growing along the side of where the Flexischool will be.

From my own experience, I have noticed that generosity is never static. Once in motion, generosity keeps bouncing back to you. It creates a kind of circle and when you give freely and with an open heart, that circle will be completed by something coming to you. Something happens when you give to others. I think it might be similar to what happens when you declutter and open space up for good things to come in. When you give, you open a space for something to be returned. I wonder if others have found this to be true.

Here is the old glasshouse with the compost bays next to it. You can't see it in the picture, but the glass house has a glass roof, louver windows all round and lots of benches inside for seedlings and plants.

Hanno is coming to work with me today to do some heavy work. There will just be Bernadette, Hanno and myself working there but I'm sure we can finish off what has to be done. There is something to be said for new beginnings, even when there is a lot of work attached to them. I see our new cottage as being a good place to nurture the disadvantaged folk in our community. It has a kitchen where we can cook hot meals for the homeless; we'll be able to make hot scones for mornings teas when people come to visit; we'll have a quiet and calm garden to take those who need to relax and reflect. There is even an old glasshouse, a green house and compost bays next to old, long dead vegetable gardens. We're going to hold a few permaculture classes there and grow vegetables for our food bank.

This is a good place.

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